special submission by MARILYN CAMPBELL | photos by Heather Marsh

The stars were out on the evening of June 15 for the Steve Miller Band concert at the San Diego County Fair Grandstand. Earlier, the stars were inside the famed Turf Club, scene of the annual Don Diego Scholarship Foundation Gala. Since 1986, the Foundation has awarded more than $600,000 in college scholarships and grants for agricultural education.
Before settling in their VIP concert seats to rock out with the band, famous for such songs as Fly Like an Eagle, guests enjoyed cocktails, a silent auction, gourmet dinner and introduction of 2013 scholars Brooke Buckley, Matt Kelly and Scott Jacobson, each of whom received a $5,000 scholarship. Tessa Adler, first in her Point Loma class and bound for Yale, received $5,000 plus the first $5,000 Spanjian scholarship for a total of $10,000.
Among the guests were Del Mar Council members Lee Haydu, Don Mosier and Sherryl Parks, as well as Mayor Emeritus Richard Earnest with his wife Jackee; current and former 22nd District Agricultural Association (22nd DAA) and Don Diego Board members including Adam Day, Fred Schenk, Allan Royster and Bob Vice; Fairgrounds CEO/Don Diego President Tim Fennell; Josh Rubenstein of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, the Gala’s platinum sponsor, as well as many business and society affiliates.
Don Diego Chair, Paul Ecke III, said he was honored to present a special tribute to “Father of the Don Diego Scholarship Foundation” Bob Spanjian,
after whom an endowment Spanjian Family Scholarship was recently created. The scholarship has already raised more than $15K due in part to ambitious
fundraiser, Leslie Barone.
2-DelMarCouncilMembers-DonMosier-LeeHaydu-JackeeandMayorEmeritusEarnest-SherrylParksBob Spanjian is a Don Diego founder who has served as secretary/treasurer since the Foundation’s establishment in 1986. The non-profit Foundation is sponsored by the 22nd DAA. Decades ago, his family’s fabric design business developed Fiber K, which came to be known in their honor as Spandex, one of the most ubiquitous materials in the world.
The gala culminated with a live auction led by Fred Schenk. After heavy bidding, Jim Berg’s $2,000 bid won him an autographed, personally painted Steve Miller Band guitar. Proceeds from the auction and entire gala will enable the Foundation to maintain and possibly expand its scholarship programs.
“The 2013 Gala represented a joining together of past, present and future; of elements that make our region unique and strong. These include agriculture, innovation and people with the character, drive and community commitment to envision and create a better tomorrow. We look forward to growing our enduring legacy,” shared Ecke.
For more information, visit www.dondiegoscholarship.org.